Public Works Update
Earlier this month, our City Manager, Bob Wingenroth, made an executive decision to create a new department based on some of the functions that previously fell under Public Works. This new department, Water Resource Management, will focus on our assurance to have an abundant, secure water supply which is consistent with our Council’s goals. Terry Lowe, formerly our Assistant Public Works Director, has been promoted to Director of the Water Resource Management Department. Terry has been with the City since 2004. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Engineering and Project Management. Terry also served as our Project Manager when City Hall was being built. He is a well-respected, professional and proven leader that is committed to sustainability in our City.
Mike Gent, also a former Assistant Public Works Director and Acting Public Works Director, has been promoted to Public Works Director. Mike began his career in the private sector prior to transitioning into City government. He earned his Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Public Works. Mike has been with Surprise for one year. He is proud to work for a City that emphasizes “Servant Leadership” and is anxiously trying to incorporate those traits into his own personality and approach. He is very committed to the success and sustainable growth of his family’s new hometown!
We are very fortunate to have these two exceptionally talented men with our City. Congratulations to the both of them as they embark on their new journey with us!
Events & Meetings
Mayor Wolcott and I met with representatives from EPCOR on Thursday, September 25th. EPCOR provided us with an update on their application to the Arizona Corporation Commission on wastewater district separation and/or combination. Additionally, we were provided with updated maps of the wastewater service areas and how they apply to Surprise.
Water Planning Subcommittee Meeting
The Water Planning Subcommittee met on Thursday, September 25th. Three important issues were discussed. The first two issues concerned the presentation for the City Council Work Session that will be held on October 21st as staff will be providing an update to the Council regarding the Subcommittee’s progress. At that time, we will also discuss a water conservation proposal to reduce water usage within the Bell Road rights of way. Several comments and questions were raised and they will be incorporated into the final presentation.
Lastly, we conferred about additional water conservation. As part of this discussion, members of the City’s Community Development Department were invited to join the meeting. They were able to field questions about water-related building codes and standards, as well as Surprise and industry regulations. Additionally, they provided guidance to the Subcommittee on the best ways to initiate water conservation programs that affect the development community. The next meeting is scheduled for October 30th at 3:30 pm at City Hall.
Capitol Scholar Program
The Capitol Scholar Program, which consists of students from Imagine Prep and Arizona Charter Academy, held their mock legislative session at City Hall on Friday, September 26th since the State Capitol was unavailable. Students were divided into 3 groups as they participated in Committee Hearings. During this process, the students presented their individuals bills. The bills concerned a variety of topics including cruelty of animals, bullying, dangerous crimes against children, graffiti and much more. The Program concluded with a final third reading and signing of the passed bills in the Council Chamber. The Committee consisted of Representative Rick Gray, Diane McCarthy, Councilman Jim Biundo, Councilman Todd Tande and me.
A Brush with Victory
West Valley Arts HQ, now located at 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza in Surprise, hosted the world premiere of artist Bill Patterson’s Gatorade Victory Lane paintings celebrating the Phoenix International Raceway’s most memorable moments of the past half-century on Friday, September 26thas part of the track’s 50th anniversary season. I was honored to attend this event and I continue to be humbled by the outpouring of support of the arts by our residents.
Stand Up For Veterans
I attended the Stand Up for Veterans event on Saturday, September 27th at Glendale Community College. This impressive event was organized by the Arizona Department of Veteran Services and Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers to help West Valley veterans readjust to civilian live upon their return home. In addition to a job fair, this event provided veterans and their families with community resources such as education and legal assistance. West Valley employers were in attendance to interview the veterans and offer networking opportunities. Volunteers were also available to help with resumes, cover letters, etc. Arizona’s Motor Vehicle Division was present to answer any questions or resolve issues for the returning service member. My attendance at this event was to personally witness the need in the West Valley with hopes to establish such an event in Surprise in the future.
Art Leaders Breakfast
On Saturday, September 27th, I was invited to speak at the Arts Leader Breakfast, hosted by our City’s Arts & Cultural Commission. Participants included Robyn Harris of Musical Surprise, Stephanie Savage of the West Valley Conservatory of Ballet, Connie Whitlock of WHAM, Desiree van de Boogaard of the West Valley Arts Council, Mona Myhre of the West Valley Symphony, Tiffany Nebeker of Spotlight Entertainment, Susan deJong and members of the Arts & Cultural Commission. Discussion included the future of arts in Surprise and how groups can cooperatively work together to fulfill common goals.
Kneader’s Bakery & Café Ribbon Cutting
Kneader’s Bakery and Café opened their Surprise store located at 14183 W. Bell Road on Thursday, October 2nd. In advance of the grand opening, a ribbon cutting event was held on Wednesday, October 1st. I was honored to be present to welcome Jim Hipp, Operating Partner of the Surprise store; Andrew Smith, CEO; Shawna Smith, CMO; and David Vincent, CFO and help the group cut the ribbon.
Mark Your Calendars
Surprise Fiesta Grande
The inaugural Surprise Fiesta Grande, the street-style festival on Hollyhock Street, north of Grand Avenue will occur this Saturday, October 4th from 12 noon until 9 p.m. Admission is FREE! For more information including street closures, please visit our website at www.surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande. We hope to see you there!
Community Drug Awareness Symposium
The Surprise Police Department is partnering with Christ Church of the Valley (CCV) to host a Community Drug Awareness Symposium on Wednesday, October 8th from 7 – 9 p.m. at the CCV Surprise Campus located at 14787 W. Cholla Street. This Symposium will provide information on the dangers of drugs, how to recognize signs and symptoms associated with drug abuse and provide resources for those impacted by drugs. Guest speakers include a recovering drug addict, a parent and a representative from the Maricopa Attorney’s Office. The goal of this event is to arm the community with the knowledge necessary to combat this growing epidemic.
Residents with old paint cans, car batteries, etc. are encouraged to drop off these items at the City’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event on Saturday, October 11th from 8 a.m. until 12 noon. The event will be held at the Public Works Maintenance Yard at 13433 W. Foxfire Drive.
Columbus Day, October 13th, is right around the corner. Please note that City Hall will be closed.